He says he loved me from the first moment he saw me. He says he remade himself, became someone, fueled by that brief flash of inspiration. He guarded me for months, his existence defined solely by his invisible presence in my life.
Before I knew any of that, I knew that I wanted him. I knew that I liked him. I learned what he was, and I knew I hated him, and then I learned more about what he was. He wasn’t someone to want or to like or to hate. He was someone who wouldn’t feed on my mother, but who felt the demonic urge to do so, and resisted. I’ll never know how that feels, but he had been dealing with it for decades before I met him, and he’s still dealing with it today. His nature tells him to tear my throat out, and his heart tells him he’s strong enough to kiss me instead. How do you go on a date with that? How do you put a stake in it? How do you do anything but love it?
Nothing that happened between me and Angel has been easy. You know the story. My friends and I still talk about it today, with humor or sympathy, or occasionally, sheer fury. We know how these memories have become part of me, and we can live with it.
But I know better than to share all of my secrets, and even Angel himself doesn’t know the hardest part of our true history: that I fell in love with him when he said he wanted to kill me. No girl should ever have to know that about herself. I can’t explain it or justify it. I can only look back, remember his shadowy eyes darting timorously over my neck, and think, yes, it was then.
Now his presence is no longer invisible but gone altogether. Miles and more separate us, and we go out into the night alone, plunging our stakes into empty hearts, full of contempt for the vampires who follow their nature.